Vegan Mexican Spinach Salad

Vegan Mexican Spinach Salad

What do you get when you cross Mexican & vegan food?

Mexi-Vegan? Veg-exican?

Whatever you want to call it, it’s freaking delicious!

Introducing, my vegan Mexican spinach salad.

Paprika & cumin seasoned roasted carrots, lime seasoned black beans, crispy pan fried tofu, salty savory olives, spicy jalapeño, and creamy cilantro lime VEGAN dressing. YUM!

I was so tempted to make a greek yogurt dressing for this salad, but I really wanted to experiment and push myself to make a delicious creamy dressing WITHOUT using any dairy.

Creamy avocado and rich olive oil makes the dressing smooth and luscious, while nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy flavor.

I didn’t miss the dairy at ALL.

Mexican Vegan Spinach Salad

Also, have you seen the newest line of olives from Lindsay Olives??

They’re called “Lindsay Naturals“- no preservatives or dyes added, just olives, water, and sea salt.

AKA everything an olive should be.

I’ve really been digging the buttery green variety. They taste like black olives, but they’re a lovely green color. I know it’s weird, because they LOOK like the tart green olives you get in a jar, but they TASTE like the black olives you stuck on all your fingers as a kid (anyone??).

I didn’t even realize that most “regular” black olives are treated with a corn derived ingredient called ferrous gluconate to fix their black color. Without this treatment, black olives are naturally closer to dark brown. (Check out the Lindsay Naturals California Black Olives if you want to see the color of untreated black olives!).

I’m a huge fan of cutting out food additives and unnatural ingredients, so I highly suggest trying natural olives.

This is NOT a sponsored post, I just genuinely love these olives!

Vegan Mexican Spinach Salad

Vegan Mexican Spinach Salad
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 
Servings: 4
Author: Erica Julson
Ingredients
  • 3 cups sliced carrot (from about 4 to 6 large carrots), sliced on the bias, 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons melted refined coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, divided
  • ~1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz firm sprouted tofu, sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices, then cut into 1/2 inch matchsticks
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 red jalapeño, deseeded and thinly sliced cross wise
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 large leaves of fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons shelled hemp hearts
  • 2 avocados
  • 10 oz fresh baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the sliced carrots out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the melted coconut oil, and sprinkle with the paprika, cumin, cayenne, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper. Toss with your hands to coat evenly, then re-spread the carrots out evenly on the baking sheet. Pop in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until tender and slightly browned.
  2. Put the rinsed black beans in a bowl. Toss with the garlic powder, red wine vinegar, zest of 1 lime, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside for now.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet. Warm over medium-high heat, add the tofu, and cook for a few minutes per side until golden and crisp. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate & season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the cilantro, 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, mint, juice of 1 lime, nutritional yeast, hemp hearts, and 1/2 avocado in a mini food processor. Pulse until well blended and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the spinach into 4 serving bowls. Top with roasted carrots, black beans, crispy tofu, avocado slices, sliced olives, a sprinkle of jalapeño, and a liberal drizzle of dressing. Sprinkle with extra hemp hearts, if desired. Enjoy!
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